The Bridge Hotel
- Censuses of 1911 and 1921 showing (in Chilworth) Wheatley Bridge House and one of the two possible toll/turnpike cottages
- Summary of Mrs Foster's involvment with The Bridge Hotel
- Bridge Hotel bankruptcy and claim against Oxford City Council
- Write-up on the Bridge Hotel
- Licence application February 1926
- Turnpike dispute in 1872
- Chilworth 1911 and 1921 censuses showing Wheatley Bridge House and Turnpike Cottage
The Bridge Hotel. Photos from a 1920s brochure. Postcard, front and back, probably from the 1920s with a list of amenities on the reverse. Currently Harvester Restaurant (2018)
Various press reports
In an advertisement in the Oxford Times in 1955, the Bridge Hotel states that the building dates back to 1729, but this refers only to the cottage or cottages built that year to collect tolls on the Turnpike. It certainly occupies a strategic site by the bridge and a building appears there on early maps.
The absence of this building to be enumerated in Wheatley in either 1911 or 1921 was noted. Instead, it is found in the Chilworth division of Great Milton in 1911 with Ernest Pollard, a farmer, living here at Wheatley Bridge House, formerly Brooks Cottage, and next door to Turnpike Cottage. In 1921, it is found in the Chilworth division of Lewknor, with Rossen Caldwell, housekeeper, living here at Wheatley Bridge House with three visitors. This property was enumerated after Sworford Farm. So, it is clear that its conversion to an hotel had not yet taken place.
Article about The Bridge Hotel (now The Harvester), including its time as Wheatley Bridge House, and information on its entries in the censuses of 1911 and 1921 (and non-appearance in the Wheatley 1910 Revaluation map).
Image of the particulars of Wheatley Bridge House included in the 1913 sale by the Holton Park estate, although it failed to sell. It was let to Ernest Pollard (the occupier per the 1911 census where the record is shown under Chilworth) at £42 p.a. with 13.5 acres of land. There is only one house referred to, so unclear where Turnpike/Toll Cottage fitted into this.
According to her great-great grandson, Fanny Cordelia Mutton was a Hotel Manageress of a few different hotels including the Bridge Hotel, Wheatley in 1926. She had married Joseph Henry Pleming in 1899; at some point they separated (he remarried in 1911) and Fanny took up with an Arthur John Foster and they seemed to go as man & wife for some years although there is no record. In February 1926, they made an application for a liquour licence but this was refused. Fanny was the proprietress who filed for bankruptcy of the Bridge Hotel at the end of 1926. The (separate) write-up on bankruptcy and the claim against the council suggests that Fanny Foster (as she called herself) had no business experience, had over-paid for the property (taking account of the mortgages on it) and was under-capitalised, In desperation, the creditors made a claim against Oxfordshire Council (see separate report), but it was regarded as laughable.
Also, according to the same informant, his grandmother's aunt & uncle, Lily & Walter Balding, lived in a wooden hut on the river at Wheatley, shown in one of the photos.
At some time it became a night club just called 'The Bridge', the name later changed to 'Fingles', Drinkers from the King & Queen would go on to this. G R Nixey owned this at some stage and, reportedly sold the land on which the supermarket was developed.
An advertisement for the Bridge Hotel from the Oxford Mail in February 1955